Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Spring Look Book - The New LBD

Yeah the little black dress (LBD) there's not much you can say about it, or many ways it can be reinvented surely? WRONG! This casual, edgy take on the LBD is doing serious things for me. From the minute I slipped this on I felt sassy AF. This versatile beauty is from Fashion World and let me tell you, your wardrobe is crying out for it. I promise. 

Firstly it's the lacing detail. It's pretty damn awesome! 

It really would have helped though if I'd ironed the dress (FFS) I genuinely didn't realise how creased it was. But creasing aside this dress is amazing. It's a lightweight jersey, it's slightly textured, almost like fine slub.

Pops told me I looked like a rock star when I toddled off to work in this outfit and the seal of a nearly 8 year old is worth more than that of any fashion expert. Trust me. 

Size-wise it's bang on, it's roomy, but form fitting, comfortable with loads of stretch. The tie detail gives it a sexy, fun edge. This is going to see you through the year, with tights and big jacket in the winter to flip flops and chunky jewellery in the summer.  

Black Dress - Fashion World// Red Boots - Similar

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Opinion: For the Many.

Fashion segments have been the mainstay of daytime television since time in memoriam. From the days of Pebblemill (christ I'm old) to TV:AM and shows such as This Morning and Lorraine. 

Back in the 80s and 90s, although not day time, the Clothes Show for me, was essential Sunday night viewing, with Jeff Banks and Caryn Franklin at the helm, it steered viewers through the latest trends, catwalk shows and high street happenings. But what happened to empowerment through fashion? When did it become a shitshow of shame?

Show of Shame

Now this may be me wearing decidedly rose tinted glasses, but not once do I remember the Clothes Show tackling subjects like dressing for your size/shape, what to wear or how to wear it. For me it always seemed like it was about the fashion, creating outfits, wearable trends. None of this likening bodies to fruit bullshit.

From memory, my very first taste of shame dressing as I'm now going to call it was gobby posh birds, Trinny and Susannah on 'What not to Wear' - I mean straight away, the name of the show tells you everything you need to know. Here are two women who have made a career from making other women feel like shit. Trading on women's insecurities and perceived flaws. They fine tuned the art of covering up, hiding and disguising and quite possibly made Spanx an multi-billion dollar company with their impassioned love of shape-wear. It was the emergence of these upper-middle class, has-been school bullies that paved the way for what became the future of fashion shows. A torrent of shame-mongering, faux-friend stylists. 

Friend or 'Faux'? 

It had become apparent that Trinny and Susannah's breed of 'tough love' (ahem) was too much for some; on the hunt for a more friendly, kindly approach, Channel 4 stumbled upon, jolly old Gok - now for disclaimer purposes, I have met Gok several times and he is a genuinely lovely person, but he too, perpetuated this theme of so-called empowerment through trading on people's insecurities. The notion that women can only feel good about themselves if they meet a certain set of beauty standards created by the media. 

Not a show would go by where Mr Wan didn't whack someone in some shape-wear and add an unnecessary belt to an outfit to 'create an hourglass' figure. And although Gok's catchphrase was "it's all about the confidence" one does begin to wonder how anyone can be truly confident when they are made to fit into a box that's so restrictive and mainstream. Surely confidence is found in self-exploration, discovery and playfulness. Fashion shouldn't be about the crowds, it should be about what makes you feel good. This one-size/style fits all ethos belongs in the dark ages.  

Daytime Nightmares

But you see, that's the issue. Despite the huge movements in body positivity, plus size fashion and diversity as a whole, these types of fashion experts still exist and are broadcast to millions of women every day via shows such as Lorraine and This Morning. And arguably they are broadcasting to some of the most emotionally vulnerable and impressionable of women.  Stay at home mums, mums to be, those on sick leave, the unemployed, tired shift workers, some of whom may have lost their way style-wise, maybe put on a little weight and the producers of these shows know this. They play to these women's vulnerabilities. Instead of enabling women to explore fashion, try new trends and build themselves up, they continue to employ these outdated notions of shape-wear, covering up and 'flattering' your figure. I mean what does that even mean? I'm fat, I'll always be fat. I just want to wear amazing clothes, clothes that make me smile, clothes that make me feel like the person I want to be, confident, fun, powerful. 

Of course I am very mindful of the fact that not everyone feels like that yet, they're not in that place or mindset, but surely, there is a better way to encourage women to feel great about themselves without banging them in some highwaisted spandex torture device and whacking a belt round their midriff?! 

Shouldn't we be holding women's hands and saying "try something new, don't be afraid to embrace different shapes, throw the rulebook out the window".  Just this morning on Lorraine, Mark Heyes (again someone I've met several times and is a sweetheart, BUT) was warding those with a stomach off the paperbag style waistline. What utter nonsense! I refuse to be dictated to on what I can and cannot wear because it might be less than 'flattering' to my figure. 

Fashion for the many, not the few

Yes I'm getting all Jezza Corbyn on fashion 'experts' arses because I've truly had enough of this nonsense approach to clothing. Wear what makes you feel good, wear something that makes a statement, wear something that helps you blend into the background. However you want to feel, dress accordingly, because that's what personal style is about. The power of a good outfit knows no bounds, it should uplift you, calm you, comfort you. It should be whatever you want it to be. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Spring Look Book - Florals? Groundbreaking...

For my latest Spring post I have the absolute pleasure of bringing you a complete stunner from Joanie Clothing. Now it's the LAW that florals come back round again in the spring time, but for me, it's something I normally tend to avoid, favouring block colours and stripes mostly. But there was something about this dress, I couldn't get out of my head...  

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is mega out of my comfort zone. It's a dress for starters and we all know I don't do dresses very often. It's very low cut, the babs do not get an airing all that often either! BUT I felt fun and flirty and oh so sassy in it, so I have decided I will try and give dresses more of  chance.  

This particular one is the Tiggy Floral Midi dress, as mentioned from Joanie Clothing. I'm wearing the 22 which unfortunately is the biggest size Joanie go up to, but I have linked some 24+ options at the bottom of the post for you should you be in the market for something similar! 

I find most of Joanies more fitted, woven items a tiny bit small, but not small enough that you'd need to size up, just be aware, it's going to be snug, and might not work for certain shapes. That being said, their teeshirts and jumpers are fab and would fit up to a 24 I'd say.

Bonus points also go to this bad boy for the the pockets. There's not much in life better than a garment with pockets to be honest. I toughened up the look a little with boots and a denim jacket, making it feel a bit more 'me'. 

As promised I have linked some alternatives to this dress below for those of you over a size 22. We've still got lots more spring looks to bring you, including... a jumpsuit!! Hoorah!! You know I can't let a season go past without a jumpsuit offering.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Spring Look Book - Workwear Reworked

In the second of my Spring looks I thought it would be fun to give your work wardrobe a bit of a refresh. I've chosen two key pieces/trends that you're going to be able to easily wear together, and match with existing items in your wardrobe. 

I've never been the most conventional workwear wearer (that's a mouthful) if I'm honest. I'm a big fan of a pinafore with a jaunty blouse and oversized items that buck the traditional structured office wear tradition. So if you came here for pencil skirts and suits, you're in the wrong place. But what I do have are two items that would work well in anyone's working wardrobe. 

Statement tees and jumpers have become a huge story this past year and they're the perfect way to add a bit of personality to your wardrobe, and in my opinion, Joanie Clothing have one of the best collections of these cute jumpers and tees. 

I'm wearing the Ruby Face jumper in an XL which would probably fit up to a 24, depending on boobage. Now that's the only thing I will say, Joanie, do only go up to a 22 which is a shame, but if you're looking for other similar alternatives, give New Look and Simply Be a try, they do some great slogan/statement items. 

I've had a fair few bits from Joanie, and I can say without a doubt, they are gorgeous quality. The fabric is always fantastic, they wash amazingly and I love the retro vibe of the brand. And as someone who doesn't really dabble in the vintage side much nowadays, I think their pieces work amazingly with a more modern wardrobe. 

As always, I have a bit of a confession to make... Look, what can I say, this is my little corner of the internet where I feel most comfortable haha! BUT I have a bit of a fashion rule... NOW I am normally the first to tell people to wear whatever they want, and throw the rule book out of the window. But I have this thing where if I'm wearing something tight/short on top, I have to wear something loose on the bottom and then visa versa - loose on top, tight on bottom. And to this day, I'm not actually sure why... but that's how I like it and it just works for me. And this outfit is no exception to that rule. 

On my bottom half I went for these polka dot wide leg trousers, or if you're really old like me, 'palazzo pants' hahaha!! The pants in question are from Evans, and the whole polka dot thing is huge news this season, it's absolutely everywhere. These beauties are going to be perfect for all occasions from work, holiday, casual with trainers or evening with heels. They're in my opinion, an essential. 

I hope you liked today's instalment and  I'm looking forward to bringing you more key pieces for your spring wardrobe!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Spring Look Book: Reimagining your Jean Look

So, I've been working over the last month to bring together some Spring looks for you. I wanted to focus on updating your wardrobe, reimagining wardrobe staples and finding wearable but fashion forward options for you all. For the first in the series I've updated the classic jean look and given it a twist by incorporating one of Spring's hottest trends, embellishment, and more specifically pearls. 

Now I must confess that on first look, my nearest and dearest (aka my boyf and my parents) thought these jeans were ridiculous... on the other hand, my very clever and fashion savvy 7 year old thought they were the best jeans she'd ever seen and wanted a pair in her size. 

I know this style won't be to everyone's taste. These particular pearl embellished jeans are from Evans, but you can get other versions with less embellishment, just focused on the ankle area for example, if all over pearl isn't your thing. 

I wanted to stick with soft pastel tones for this look, as we head into spring it's the perfect excuse, if you've been hiding in black all winter like I have, to don some fresher colours and have a bit more fun with fashion again. 

I teamed my jeans with this gorgeous soft blush jumper from Elvi that also sports a pearl embellishment to the cuff, tying it all together nicely. The jumper is super soft and I love how the funnel neck stands perfectly giving the look a bit of structure. I sized up to a 24 so I would have some extra room.

Shop the Outfit: Jeans - Evans// Jumper - Elvi// Trainers - Similar 

I went with some trusty trainers to finish the look, I wanted to keep it casual and something you could easily wear for the school run, weekly shop or as I did yesterday, down the pub for a lovely carvery haha!

Jeans-wise, I'd say the sizing is generous and it might be worth going down a size. They have stretch and are really comfortable. I love the mid-wash colour and loose boyfriend fit to them. Although I've teamed them with trainers they will literally go with anything and with the pearl detail I think they are perfect for dressing up with heels and a blazer, but will also lift any casual outfit, they're going to look awesome with something like a camo jacket and chunky boots, contrasting the delicate pearls with tough outfit details.

I'm really excited to bring you some work looks, evening looks and more spring trends over the next few weeks, so watch this space!